Keith Raffel here.
As I wrote in my last posting here, I’m doing some diversification of my literary portfolio. My agent in New York has a manuscript he’s circulating to publishers. He even has another in his back pocket. So I held back a third manuscript and have decided to publish it as an ebook original. Drop By Drop draws heavily on the four years I spent in Washington working as the counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Once I decided to go down the ebook route, all those housekeeping chores the publisher had done on my first two books became my responsibility. So I figured out how to copyright the manuscript, obtain an ISBN number, and more.
Then there’s coming up with a cover. I didn’t have much to do with the cover on my first two books. The publisher asked for ideas for a cover for Dot Dead. I said any cover was okay with me except for a woman dead in a bed. Guess what showed up on the cover? (See left. Over time, it did grow on me.) When the publisher came up with a preliminary cover for Smasher, I was delighted to be asked for comments. I took the request seriously and showed it to a few trusted booksellers and relayed their suggestions back to the publisher. No changes were made.
With Drop By Drop I was on my own for the cover. I found a designer and told him what I had in mind. I took the first draft of the cover and posted it up on Facebook for comments. It turns out my friends, especially Shelly, know what they’re talking about. This time suggestions were taken into account, and we discarded a tricolor cover and ended up with the one on the left.
Over the weekend I uploaded the text of Drop by Drop onto Amazon (click here) and Smashwords (click here). Smashwords in turn makes certain the ebook goes into the catalogs of Apple’s iBookstore and Barnesandnoble.com. I'll let you know how things go.